A country with diverse culture and traditions, India also boasts of some of the greatest sports icons who hold the baton high and make the country proud! Legends like PT Usha, Milkha Singh, Sachin Tendulkar, Mary Kom, Mahesh Bhupati, Sania Mirza, Kapil Dev, PV Sindhu, Sunil Chetri, Dhyan Chand and Neeraj Chopra, have played a significant role making India shine globally. Owing to this popularity, and their tremendous contribution to Indian sports, over the years, the glorious life journeys of some of these celebrated sports personalities have been portrayed beautifully by Indian filmmakers in the form of biopics, documentaries, and docuseries. Read on to find out the 5 best movies and series that pay homage to the most iconic sporting champions of India:
1. Sachin – A Billion Dreams
‘Sachin – A Billion Dreams’ is a feature-length documentary film that is based on the life of the ‘God of Cricket’, Sachin Tendulkar. Shot in English, Hindi and Marathi languages simultaneously, the sports documentary is directed by critically acclaimed British Filmmaker James Erskine. Sachin – A Billion Dreams delves into the unrivalled cricketing journey of Sachin Tendulkar, from his childhood and early years of his career to his first World Cup victory. The 2017 documentary also taps into some lesser-known facts of his life, which is definitely a treat for his ardent fans out there!
2. Bandon Mein Tha Dum
Directed by Neeraj Pandey, ‘Bandon Mein Tha Dum’ is a special event series that is slated to stream exclusively on Voot Select from 16th June 2022. The four-part special event series follows the peaks and troughs of the Indian national cricket team on their historic 2020/21 tour of Australia. Bandon Mein Tha Dum pays a tribute to a young Team India that led to the stunning defeat of the world’s most feared cricket team – Australia. Featuring Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mohammed Siraj, Hanuma Vihari and Washington Sundar, this Neeraj Pandey directorial celebrates the courage, dedication, and hard work of Indian cricketers towards winning the ’Border-Gavaskar Trophy’.
3. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ is a biographical sports drama film that was released on the big screen back in 2013. Helmed by renowned Bollywood filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, this superhit film revolves around the personal and professional life of Milkha Singh, a.k.a The Flying Sikh, a Commonwealth Games champion, and a two-time Asian Games 400m champion. Starring Farhan Akhtar in the titular role, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag also features Sonam Kapoor, Divya Dutta, Meesha Shafi and Pavan Malhotra in key roles.
4. Break Point
Filmmaker couple Nitesh Tiwari and Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s 2021 directorial venture, ‘Break Point’ is a tennis docuseries that is available to stream exclusively on Zee5 in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu languages. The seven-episodic series traces the highly-lauded careers of tennis legends – Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi. Break Point delves deeper into Leander and Mahesh’s incredible partnership to their shocking split, chronicling significant moments from their respective tennis careers.
5. Mary Kom
Starring global icon Priyanka Chopra Jonas in the titular role, ‘Mary Kom’ is a biographical sports film that is based on the life of the eponymous Indian boxer. Alongside Priyanka, this Omung Kumar directorial also stars Darshan Kumar and Sunil Thapa in supporting roles. The blockbuster 2013 film depicts the hardships that Mary Kom had to navigate as a boxer before winning at the 2008 World Championships held in Ningbo.